Turkish contractors move court against LWMC admin

Published December 24, 2020
A truck of the Turkish contractor Albayrak is seen this file picture. — Photo courtesy: Albayrak website
A truck of the Turkish contractor Albayrak is seen this file picture. — Photo courtesy: Albayrak website

LAHORE: The Turkish contractors have initiated legal proceedings against the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) management for ‘forcibly’ taking over their machinery, equipment and workshops, terming the action an attempt to sabotage the dacades-old relations between Turkey and Pakistan.

A spokesman for the foreign contractors – Albayrak and Ozpak – said they filed a contempt of court plea in the Lahore High Court against the LWMC management for alleged violation of a court stay order, besides a writ petition for “violation of their fundamental rights”, asking the court to declare their action (of assets takeover) illegal and seeking restoration of their status that existed prior to Dec 20.

“We also approached the police station concerned for lodging FIRs, but to no avail as the police themselves were part of the [LWMC] raid,” he said.

One of the contractors also issued a press release on Wednesday, listing the reasons why they had to move court against the LWMC.

Accuse company of harming ties between two countries

“Why we have filed a law suit against the LWMC? Because they (the LWMC, police etc) have tried to damage and harm the [feelings of] brotherhood [that existed] between Pakistan and Turkey. Because they have tried to sabotage the trade relations between the two countries,” reads the press release.

The release says the companies’ investment in Pakistan is not merely fiscal, as they also emotionally invested in the country whose people stood with the people of Turkey in trying times.

It claims that since teh arrival of Turkish companies, Lahore has emerged as the cleanest city of Pakistan.

“To ensure the highest quality of services, along with engaging 4,000 required sanitary workers, we deployed 1,500 additional workers. We have lifted 6,898,254 tons of waste,” it maintains.

It states that the companies’ contract had expired in February 2020. However, on the request of the LWMC, they agreed to extend their services for two more months.

The LWMC failed to roll out the tender process and could not finalise any plans to take over the waste management services of Lahore. Consequently, the current contractors were forced to provide the services through two more extensions.

It is pertinent to mention here that during past two years at least seven officers have joined and left the position of the LWMC managing director.

“The previous managements of the LWMC [would] always look forward to resolve the issues through a dialogue, a policy that was shockingly abandoned by the current management. After assuming the office, the current management closed its doors on the contractors,” the release reads.

It clarified that the alleged contractual requirement of delivery of the equipment claimed by the LMWC was “completely fabricated”, claiming the contract clearly stated that all equipment, except those delivered by the LWMC to the contractors at the end of the project, belonged to them (contractors).

“In the city where we worked for eight years as subcontractors of the LWMC, [we] were misbehaved as our Pakistani and Turkish staffers, who worked day and night, were mistreated, illegally vacated and harassed.”

“We have initiated legal action since you have tried to create obstacles in the way of foreign investors’ activities in Pakistan, you have tried to harm our commercial reputation. And because this behavior is the breach of contract, a breach of trust, a violation of fundamental rights and contempt of the court,” it concludes.

On the other hand, a source in the LWMC told Dawn on Wednesday that a meeting between the contractors and the client (LWMC) was held to resolve the dispute (machinery takeover, payment of dues etc).

“Another meeting will be held at the office of the chief secretary on Thursday (today),” he added.

He, however, termed the LWMC action legal that was taken in the best interest of the public.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2020

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